Janesville18.2°

Ryan can run for vice president, Congress concurrently

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staff, Gazette
August 12, 2012

— Voters will still see Paul Ryan’s name as the Republican candidate for the 1st Congressional District on Nov. 6, but he’ll also be a candidate for vice president.

If Ryan is elected both as vice president and House representative, then his election to the House would be voided, according to state statutes.

The governor would call a special election to fill the seat.

So if Ryan becomes vice president and also wins the congressional election, Democratic challenger Rob Zerban would have another chance to win the seat.

Meanwhile, the 1st District race is getting heightened attention from higher-ups in the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee first highlighted Wisconsin’s 1st District as a “Red to Blue Emerging Race” in January. According to an official from the Democratic committee, the program offers financial, communications, grass-roots and strategic support from the national committee that works to elect Democrats to the House.

“The DCCC has been there from the beginning of my campaign,” Zerban told The Gazette. “It’s not always just about the money. The support they’ve given me has been instrumental.”

Zerban declined to say what financial support he might receive from the DCCC.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said Romney’s selection of Ryan could flip Ryan’s seat to the Democrats.

If Romney indeed takes the White House and Gov. Scott Walker calls a special election to fill Ryan’s vacant seat, congressional Democrats will have a weapon in Israel, who orchestrated wins for two House Democrats in special elections in upstate New York during the 2010 election cycle.

Zerban thinks his campaign stands to gain from Ryan’s selection for national office.

“This is going to bring a lot of attention to the Ryan budget,” Zerban said. “Once that happens, people are going to understand what it does and what it’s about.”

Zerban also stands to gain by facing anybody other than Ryan, whose political career has been nothing short of a juggernaut since he first won the House seat in 1997. Ryan’s margin of victory has averaged just over 32 percentage points in his last five races.



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